To find models that represented the elusive notion of beauty, the company [Bare Escentuals] held a blind casting call for women ages 20 to 60. Representatives from Bare Escentuals did not see the women who applied until they were selected for the campaign. Instead, they asked more than 270 women to complete a questionnaire about who they were and what they were like.
“My agent wouldn’t even tell me who the company was,” said Keri Shahidi, 42, one of the women chosen for the campaign, because the agent did not want the knowledge to affect her answers. The list was then whittled to 78 women, who were chosen based on their answers to the survey and brought in for interviews with casting agents. That list was reduced to 26 women, and after an a additional round of interviews, five women made the final cut.
Not seeing the women before they were chosen, Ms. Blodgett said, was a bit nerve-racking. “Do you know what a huge risk that is? What if all five of them were blonde, blue-eyed and 30?”
Xanthe Hohalek, a creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles who worked on the campaign, said the company was looking for the women to embody qualities like inspiration, humility and humor. “We were looking for something that was much more personality-driven,” Ms. Hohalek said. The goal was to capture women who had compelling and interesting stories to tell.